Sunday, April 29, 2007

Malay Mail Big Walk 2007

This morning's Malay Mail Big Walk was rather interesting. I arrived at the Dataran Merdeka on a cold and wet Sunday morning at around 5.45 a.m., having parked my car at Central Market. I don't know about you, but why does the pre-start ritual of every marathon/race event I've attended so far involves the announcer screaming/shouting instruction to participants via the PA system?

I guess some participants don't understand plain simple English that there is no registration on race day. Simply report yourself at the starting enclosure and get inside before the race starts.

The race started at 7.10 a.m but not before the start of the National Men and Women events. My friend registered me under the Men Senior event, instead of the Men Junior event. Both events start at the same time and cover the same distance (10 kilometers), the only difference is in the qualifying time (Senior - 1 hour 50 minutes, Junior - 2 hours - If I remember correctly).

The first part of the course took us along Jalan Parlimen and Jalan Duta and this first stint was pretty long. I developed a bad cramp on my left foot after 3 kilometers and I had to stop and remove my shoe for around 10 seconds (before putting it on again) as it felt like I had a plank tied to my foot. Places of note: Tun Razak Hockey Stadium, National Sports Council.

That stop actually helped alot in diminishing the cramp and I was able to continue at full speed right into the 2nd part of the race, which brough participants into Taman Tunku. Alot of rich folk live in this area, as it was evident in the number of lavish bungalows and houses. This was the half way mark of the race and the water station was situated there. Places of note: Water station :P

It was up and down again during the third part of the race as participants walked into Bukit Tunku. I enjoyed this stretch the most and was able to carry most of the momentum of the second part of the race into this stretch. Training at the Taman Rakyat in Klang paid off with the snake like road providing some much need variety compared to the long highway stretch in the first part.

The final part of the race brought us back into "civilization". Upon exiting Bukit Tunku, I was in a part of KL that I'm not familiar with. The landmarks of note however are a University Malaya City Campus, and the memorials of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn. This stretch brought us to the vincinity of Bank Negara and the end of the race at the very muddy Padang Merbuk.

I finished the course in a time of 1 hour, 38 minutes and I got another certificate of participation to add to the KL International Marathon certificate. I find that a walking race is much more streanous compared to that of a running race, and I'm practically in pain after the race. However, this is a pretty good experience and I hope to join the event next year.

Note to the Malay Mail: Next time, end the race at the Dataran and do have more people to distribute the goodie bags.

Up and Walking

I'm up rather earlier, it's a quarter to 4 in the morning, and I guess other participants of the Malay Mail Big Walk will be doing the same as well. The reporting time for the Men's Senior Event is at 6.20 a.m. and from the what I heard, some 10,000 people will be participating (It's hear say, I know). It's gonna be a blast!

But I won't have my hopes up for people to come dressed up in fancy costumes, like the participants of the recent London Marathon:

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Guide To NSMB

If you have trouble playing New Super Mario Bros like me (I know, being sucky at platform games like Mario, sucks), don't fret anymore as IGN has a free guide to NSMB, with PICTURES (beat that GameFAQs)! Go get it here.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Quotable Quotes on the Wii

The Wii is Nintendo's cash-cow nowadays, but I'm not really a fan of the console. However, I must admit that Nintendo did something right this time, compared to the whole Gamecube thing. The following quotes came from me, from just one conversation earlier tonight:

"I don't like the idea of waving my remote at the television; I only do that when it's out of batteries" - referring to how some games require you to move the Wii-mote around.

"I jog twice a week, play badminton and do weight lifting, no Wii is gonna give me that" - replying to the misconception that the Wii is an exercise machine.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

This is Club House Games!

Somehow, the title seems wrong, but Club House Games for the Nintendo DS is, in a word, fun. Basically a compilation of a tonne of casual games in a tiny cartridge, players will be hard pressed not to find more than one game to like. Out of the astonishing 42 casual games on offer, the bulk of it are card games, ranging from simple ones such as Memory to the more interesting ones such as Texas Hold 'Em.

There are also board games that range from the normal (Checkers), to the more exotic like Shogi and Ludo. Rounding up the rest of the games are variety, action and single player games such as Dominoes, Bowling and Solitaire.

On a single player basis, Club House Games is a perfect time waster, for say, when you are commuting in a train, or while waiting for your date to get ready. I played Blackjack and President during the commercial breaks in betwen the live telecast of American Idol. :)

However, the best is yet to come in form of the game's multiplayer gameplay. Playing Blackjack with 3 other flesh-and-blood people in a local multiplayer match is certainly more interesting compared to playing against the AI, and yes, this game is WFC enabled.

This feature allows you to play the bulk of the games with people all around the world!* (*Suitable WiFi connectivity required, Friend Codes...optional).

I've lost count how many times I've said this for other games.. being a Touch! Generations title, Club House Games is playable entirely using the stylus and is pretty easy to pick up, regardless whether you are a pro gamer, casual player or someone who has never used a DS before. Presentation wise, it's a bit spartan, but is perfect for this kind of compilation. For those of you expecting fancy stuff such as 3D avatars, the following image comes to mind:

I got this game for a bargain price of RM 70 (used) and although Play-Asia doesn't have this title in stock anymore, it shouldn't be a problem finding the game at a retailer near you or on Ebay. This one's a keeper!

Animal Crossing and How to Market Stuff.

Toy/collectible retailers anywhere can do themselves a favour by being a little bit more descriptive with their items and post up more pictures. Otherwise it's easy for potential customers to overlook it, and please, don't give the product a generic name.

Case in point, Play-Asia's Animal Crossing Figure Collection (Theather Version) (on the left) and XL-Shop's Animal Crossing Planet Trading Figure (bottom picture). Both are actually the same thing, but judging from the description, pictures and even the title on both sites, you probably wouldn't realise it as well. I would have bought it earlier had I known it was already on Play-Asia but I only came to know about this globe collectible from XL-Shop's website last month.

In this case however, not buying from Play-Asia turned out to be a blessing in disguise and the reason boils down to simple math. The entire collection if purchased from PA costs around USD 44 while buying it from XL-Shop's brick and mortar store will only set me back at USD 40. Nice!

On to other stuff, a friend of mine called my attention to some really cool looking metal touch pens for the Nintendo DS and DS Lite. Produced by TakaraTomy, these "Touch Metal Knock Pen" are available in silver and black for USD 4.99 each. Do take note of the Nintendo logo on the packaging, that is so old-school! I like...

Purchase details are available on the links provided in this blog entry.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

i am 8-bit?

What happens when you pair modern day artistes with oldie but goldie games such as Pacman, Mario, Metroid, Centipede and etc? You get the i am 8-bit art exhibition currently being held at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight in California.

Featuring over 200 works of art by over a hundred artistes, this is a showcase of their take on gaming icons and themes. I wouldn't say that the games are retro, as some of them (such as Earthworm Jim) don't qualify in my book. One thing is for sure, I wish I'm there now to attend this exhibition (it's FOC by the way). Here are some of the works on exhibit, taken from the gallery's website.

What's the next best thing for those of us who can't make it to California? Well, get the book, but the only problem is that it is a little bit expensive at USD 40 + inclusive of shipping for international customers but what you are getting for that kind of money is a signed book! In any case, Amazon has the book (unsigned) as well, and it's going for around USD 15, shipping not included...yet.

Stuff for Sale

I just ordered an entire set of Mario Kart DS Racing Collection Part 2 Gashapon from Play-Asia for USD 14.94 earlier today (details here). Some of you may have recalled that I've ordered the same set from eBay on behalf of a friend for double that price several weeks back. I guess the wait finally pulled off.

This new set consists of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Wario, Bowser and Donkey Kong.
This purchase, however, will leave me with duplicates of Mario, Luigi and Bowser, as they already exist in Collection Part 1. I'm putting up Mario and Luigi for sale at RM 8 each and I would preferably sell them off as a pair. Afterall, they are brothers, aren't they?

Since I've already got the ball rolling, I'm also putting up my duplicate set from my Animal Crossing Houses collection for sale. The items for this duplicate set are still under wraps but which set am I refering to? Answer: The set on the lower left corner boxed in Red (otherwise known as the PMS Mole, I mean, Resetti set):

This set is going for RM 10, but please note that all prices quoted here are do not include the shipping price. Or maybe I should sell these guys on eBay...hmm.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Two things went through my mind when I landed akwardly and somehow twisted my ankle while playing badminton earlier this evening. The first being will I be able participate in the Malay Mail Big Walk this weekend, and the second being whether this will be a recurring problem during the Penang Bridge Marathon in June. I got up, bent over for half a minute until the pain subside, and then continued playing. It wasn't that bad after all.

Condolences to the family and friends of the guy who passed away after completing the London Marathon. I understand it was rather warm for the participants at 21 degrees Celsius and hopefully everyone else turned out just fine.

Aside from the tragedy and the fact that one more person is hospitalised under critical condition, you really have to hand it to the participants, especially those who made an effort to dress up and run the course of the race. The following pictures were obtained from the BBC website.

Rather tarty for anybody's taste.

These guys were just convicted to run the race

Passion Week may be over, but it ain't over for this guy.

I wonder if anyone dressed up as Mario, or Sonic or any other videogame character. You know what will be cool? A muscle-bound dude dressed up as Duke Nukem running the marathon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

We are the Blog - Tagged - Resistance is Futile

I have been watching too much Star Trek over the weekend, due to my resurgent interest in Star Trek collectibles. That same interest had me hunting down items on Ebay that were both overpriced and no longer under production. In any case, I'm looking forward to getting a Furuta-produced Enterprise model (any Enterprise would do), when the price is right.

Speaking of Star Trek, what is your favourite sci-fi movie/T.V series/book? Mine would be:
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Star Wars Episodes III, IV and V
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV series)
  • Frank Herbert's Dune (Book series)
  • Star Trek: Voyager (TV series)
  • Babylon 5 (TV series)
*** Blog interrupted. Assimilation completed. Lower your shields. Resistance in futile. The following would-be-drones are tagged to list down their favourite sci-fi movie/t.v series/book:
Do not forget to link back to the hive, I mean, the person who tagged you in the first place :P

Nintendo In Japan

A good friend of mine (who is a former college mate as well) recently described his experience in getting a Nintendo DS Lite in Japan. Visit his blog over here, and man, look at the queue. Congratulations Aaron.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Still Playing Cards Eh?

"If you know how to play Magic: The Gathering, you should be able to play Yu-Gi-Oh". That was some sound advice given by a friend of mine prior to my purchase of Yu-Gi-Oh: World Championship 2007 for the Nintendo DS. MTG veterans do have an easier time jumping into the game but my advice to anyone who hasn't played the game before, is: "Go through the tutorials!"

The gameplay mechanics differ abit from that of MTG. For starters, there are no land cards to worry about (you won't get mana screwed in this game) and this game handles attack and defense points a little different, which results in combat resolving faster. The rest of the card types are basically similar, borrowing MTG terms, you have creature cards, spells, enhancements, etc etc. The only thing that I haven't got to grips yet is this fusion thing.

The game does offer solid card play in form of matches against the AI. Other than that, you can take your game online and challenge friends via Nintendo's WFC service. Other features included in World Championship 2007 are the ability to customize your avatar (from the looks to the phrases that appear on screen at different phases of a turn), get new cards and my personal favourite, deck building. As mentioned earlier, the tutorials section, despite looking a little brief, will definately have you up and playing your first match.

Presentation wise, the game does look cool and the dueling area is nicely done, with some 3D touches on the creatures (or was the term monsters used instead) on the said area. A note to absolute newbies, card details are shown by selecting a card located on the dueling area or in your hand and then pressing the left or right trigger.

It looks like Yu-Gi-Oh will be competing with Animal Crossing for my limited amount of game time and I must add it is doing a bang-up job. The game is on a 1 to 2 weeks waiting list on Play-Asia, and if you want it now, you are better off getting it from your favourite brick and mortar store. This game also comes along with three playable cards (real ones mind you), proof that special edition games are not the only one with nice freebies.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dot-S Puzzle Review: Bomberman

For those who have been living under a shell for the past 20 years or so, Bomberman is a puzzle game where your in-game character goes about a maze-like levels placing (and detonating) bombs to blow up obstacles (such as walls) and enemies.

I remember playing the game alot on the Micro Genius (a Famicom clone) and it really was addictive and fun. I suppose many of you retro gamers share the same sentiment as well. The simple but venerable game design was recently included with Bomberman Land Touch!, and you can find the classic mode under the Bomberman Battle Pack option of the game.

The Dot-S (a.k.a DotS) Puzzle series brings back memories of old-school video game graphics and some pretty memorable characters, typically that of the NES era. Some of you might remember that I bought a Dot-S Puzzle from the Nintendo Version Collection featuring the character Link from the Legend of Zelda series.

Having been impressed by the quality of the Link Dot-S Puzzle and driven by nostalgia over the game Bomberman, I decided to order another Dot-S Puzzle from Play-Asia. The package arrived today containing the Dot-S Puzzle: Bomberman. When compared to the box that contained Link, the Bomberman box is considerably larger.

And what was inside the box? A large compliment of pegs, a peg board and a nice colour instruction booklet.

It takes sometime to complete a "push-peg" puzzle. It took me around 15 minutes to finish this particular puzzle with the help of the guide.

And now onto the finished item:

When Bomberman met Link:

As like the other Dot-S sets, there are always other modes (a.k.a "recipes") to explore with the large assortment of pegs. Some recipes can be found on the Dot-S website. For my original review of the Link Dot-S set, click here.

Interested in getting one for yourself? You can get find them at


Ladies and gentlemen, the new Pokemon Pearl and Diamond versions are out. Due to the lack of exposure to Pokemon games, I really don't know what is the fuss about the games but I would most probably be swept up by the hype as almost everyone I know with a Nintendo DS, is buying either one of the versions.

Pokemon Pearl is currently in stock on Play-Asia, but you'll have to wait several days for Pokemon Diamond.

More game reviews coming soon, if everything goes as planned today.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

These Look Promising...But Then Again...

The last time I played Worms on the Nintendo DS, it wasn't really an enjoyable experience. The developers did a faux pas by opting for the super old school 2D graphics of the earlier games instead of the bright colours and higher resolution 2D eye candy from Worms Armageddon. The game also lacked WFC multiplayer and to sum it up, Worms: Open Warfare was one of the more subdued games in my collection.

However, things should be looking up abit with Worms: Open Warfare 2 for the Nintendo DS. There's of course the nicer graphics, more games modes and more weapons (11 of them) along with the much coveted Nintendo WFC multiplayer. The following screen shot was grabbed from Gonintendo:
On to other things, the boxart for Ouendan 2 has been released. The picture (also courtesy of Gonintendo) looks rather gay, and if I may add, I actually prefer the boxart from the previous game, with a big 2 plastered on it for this sequel.

Preorders are open on Play-Asia for Ouendan 2. Just a little bit of trivia, if you were to look up Ouendan on the Internet, you may find that sales for the first game wasn't really good in Japan, but the international response to the game was huge. So there, get your pre-orders now folks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


My heart goes out to the love ones and friends of those killed in the Virginia Tech tragedy. School shootings are incomprehensible and for it to happen with such heinous brutality, simply makes you wonder how is it possible for one human being to do this to another (with the exception of war).

Another incomprehensible thing is the crass remarks from certain parties (here's looking at you Mr. Thompson) who make it their job for blaming video games at the aftermath of every single school shooting. I used to play Quake III and Unreal Tournament diligently during my college days but I've never even once made a threat to shoot/blow-up anyone nor was I tempted to bring a weapon to school.

Effort should be spent on identifying areas of failure; like how does the nation's medical system deal with people with these kind of mental issues, and how the education system could have done more for them. Do you just give them Prozac and let them be on their way?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Usability Options

Someone posted an interesting question today, which was related to the subject of usability in terms of using the Nintendo DS. There are certain situations on part of the player (and not the game) that may warrant the exclusive use of the stylus. Even though the DS was built with the touch screen in mind, there are not many games that I can think of that are playable with the stylus alone.

As far as my experience goes, such games include:
There are other games, most of them under Nintendo's Touch! Generations label, that are playable via stylus alone as well. These include:
In my opinion, nothing beats Animal Crossing in term of control options. The game is playable even though you choose to use buttons or the stylus exclusively.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hunt for the Coupon - Part 3!

Now, for the final part of the Play-Asia coupon. It's three letters long and it is in this post it self! Don't know what I'm talking about? Read Hunt for the Coupon Parts 1 and 2. Another tip for this final part will be to pay attention on what I'm writting, down to the nitty gritty, as in the letters...I'm giving away too much am I?

If you have managed to solve this, you will have one coupon code, that should look be used like this (xx-xxx-xxx, x denoting the letters) and it is good for a USD 5 discount with a minimum purchase value of USD 50 from Play-Asia.

And as an announcement, the Bit Char-G Full Function R/C (Remote Control) Mario Set is back in stock on Play-Asia. Bit Charge R/C cars are claimed to be the smallest remote controlled cars around and this model, with Mario on board, is selling for a price of USD 19.99, with free shipping. For further details, click here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When All Else Fails, Decrypt It!

An interesting question came up on the Chatterbox today on what to do when a Nintendo DS ROM fails to launch, more specifically, the screen goes blank and then all white. Some original games purists will take the opportunity to yell across the room: "Go get ori!!" but that wouldn't be helpful at all, right?

In any case, as far as my experience goes, the scenario might indicate that the particular ROM is corrupted or b. the particular ROM needs to be decrypted. I'm more of a "if there's something wrong, replace it" kind of guy, so I would first recommend that the ROM be downloaded again. If that fails, then you'll need a particular piece of software to decrypt the ROM.

This second solution is abit unorthodox as the act of decrypting ROMs is rather passé when it comes to using the R4. However, a friend of mine has applied this technique to great success for running problematic ROMs with the same problem, on my R4 (yes, mine). Try searching for eNDryptS Advanced on Google.

So give it a go, and tell me whether it works for you.

Disclaimer: The above mentioned advice comes with no warranty from me, or from this blog. Please use at your own risk. :)

Currently Playing

These are the games that I'm currently playing, what about you?

  • Animal Crossing: Wild World (NDS)
  • New Super Mario Bros. (NDS)
  • God of War II (PS2)
Have you ever had a sense of deja vu, like you have seen/played this game somewhere, sometime else but the game was presented under a different guise? Fear not as that gut feeling of yours might ring true, as 1Up has a featured article about games that have had a total makeover (click here).

Speaking of which, aren't most homebrew games ports of particular games that have not been introduced on the DS? There are some original IPs, but most of the time, homebrew programmers dedicate their time in porting over stuff that they would love to see on the DS, stuff that they have played before. I've got no problem with this, as I'm a nostalgia-inflicted gamer myself.

My wishlist?
  • Battlechess
  • The entire Space Quest series
I bet you got some as well :)

On a side note, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice For All is going at a bargain price of USD 24.90 over at Play-Asia. And here's a little trivia, did you know that the Japanese title for the Phoenix Wright games, Gyakuten Saiban, means "Courtroom Turnabout"?

If you are looking for Play-Asia coupons, get them at my blog but first you'll have to hunt for them!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hunt For The Coupon - Part 2

Now for the second part of the coupon (if you don't know the rules or where to find the first part..refer here). The clues are:

  • Xbox
  • And it sounds like...Yeah!

If I Didn't Know Better and Homebrew Japanese Learning

Metroid. I've only started playing Metroid games after getting my Nintendo DS. In fact, I got my ass handed to me during an online Metroid Prime: Hunters session last night. Even though I'm a late adopter, I always knew that the main protagonist is a lady named Samus Aran (I read ALOT). But this can't be said for everyone who hasn't played the games, or have not been keeping tabs on the series.

There's an e-manga available online that details the life of Samus, before she became that armour-donning lady that most of us come to know (Did I mention she transforms into a ball too?). You can view it over here but if you don't know Japanese, the nice chap at Mechadrake has a frame by frame translation over here.

Back on the Homebrew front, Drunkencoders are working on Kana DS. Quoting the site:

"Kana DS is a homebrew game targeted at new students of the Japanese language.

It aims to strengthen the player's reading and writing skills for the hiragana and katakana charsets, as well as some of the most basic kanjis. Currently, only the hiragana/katakana reference table and one of the mini-games are implemented."

And the cool thing is that this project is Open Source. Download it, tinker with it, and for more news, head over to the Drunkencoders site.

USS Excelsior - Figurine Review

I remember seeing the USS Excelsior (NCC-2000) for the first time in the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and at that time, I thought it looked better than the Enterprise-A. The Enterprise-B shown in the movie Star Trek: Generations is also an Excelsior class star ship but it pales in comparison to the Enterprise-D.

Nevertheless, the Excelsior makes for a pretty fine figurine. Produced under license from Paramount Pictures by Furuta under its "Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection Alpha", it is one part of a set of five. This collection includes the Shuttlecraft Galileo, the USS Grissom, the Phoenix (Star Trek First Contact) and a head bust of Spock.

Back to the figurine itself, its pretty detailed, and you can see the ship's numbers on the end of each nacelle, and the ship's numbers on the saucer dish. This sort of micro text is pretty amazing and the stand and metal plaque rounds up this particular figurine.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hunt for the Coupon!

Want to get a discount coupon on I've got three of them, all of which expire in May. Now, Jon suggested something interesting so I'm offering you, dear reader, a chance to hunt for the coupon codes throughout this blog of mine.

Basically, I'll give out clues on where to look for parts of a particular coupon code but in the appropriate order so you won't give yourself an aneurysm putting them together. The coupon code is divided into three parts (see below) and you are supposed to hunt all three parts down. First one to get all three parts right better use it quick, as these are one-time-use coupons.


First up is a USD 5 discount coupon for purchases worth USD 50 or more. The clues for the first part of the coupon are:
  • Colour
  • Most Popular Post
Easy enough? No registration, no contest forms necessary, although a nice shoutout on the chatterbox on the left, or comments over on this post or link exchanges would be nice :P.

Clues for part 2 of the coupon can be found here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Living for the Weekend

What have you got planned for the weekend? I would be running in the forest reserve nearby, in anticipation of the Penang Bridge marathon (I'll be doing the half marathon, 20+ km) this June. Aside from that, I've a SD Gundam model to assemble.

I was told that SD stands for Super Deformed, and despite the weird sounding name, these SD models are pretty detailed. The one that I purchased earlier this evening is the Verde Buster Gundam from the Gundam Seed Stargazer anime. The thing I like about this model? The mask. The worse I can do is dip the whole thing in black paint, and make the model look like Zorro.

Now how's that for a limited edition SD Gundam? On to other purchases made today on Play-Asia:

- Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2007. This might be a suprise to some, but I do need to get my Collectible Card Game fix from somewhere right?
- Animal Crossing Character Phone Strap (Theater Version). Just released and rather cute looking and as a break from the norm, I just ordered 1 phone strap, instead of the entire set.

- Animal Crossing Character Bottle Phone Strap Gashapon (Theater Version). I've blogged about these before and my mum found them to be rather cute, not to mention interesting. So this one is for her. Interested as well? Purchase details are available here.

- Dot-S Puzzle: Bomberman (10-Type A). It has been a long time since I've bought one of these Dot-S puzzles, the last one being Link from the Legend of Zelda. Click here for purchase details.

Cooking Oil Redux

A good friend of mine, who is directly related to the Cooking Oil + Nintendo DS Lite story, has decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon (like any other friend of mine, I count two of them on my blog roll...them bandwagon jumpers (lol)) with his new blog: Show him some love people.

Coupons, Coupons Anybody?

As a result of my shopping sprees in the previous months, I have now 7 coupons. Each of them good for a USD 5 discount, for purchases over USD 50 at

The interesting part was that some forum members mentioned that Play-Asia was no longer giving out coupons, and having read that, I was pleasantly suprised to see coupons in every parcel I received from them this past 1 week.

Anyways, I'm giving them out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested parties are welcome to contact me, either through the comments section, or the chatter box on the left. Just be sure to leave your e-mail address.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nerd Speak, Gamer Talk

Altogether now, "valign="top" width="50%"". Anybody with Transitional (or even Strict) XHTML and Visual Studio 2005 experience will know why the infamous Visual Studio red squiggle appears underneath the syntax "width="50%"". Want to know why? Go find out yourself and now, back to games.

Good things come to those who wait and for those of you interested in getting Jump Ultimate Stars, well this is your chance as Play-Asia is selling it for a discounted price of USD 39.90. I suppose I would get the game, sooner or later, considering that it should be a rather enjoyable experience when coupled with a translation guide.

You would probably want the Jump Ultimate Stars Emperor's Bible (it's a guide book) as well but too bad for the most of us, it's in Japanese. It does look more like a collectible item though.

But instead of buying games, wouldn't it be great if there were stores down the street where you can rent games for a fee. Those 7-11 guys should probably consider it, as I am more than willing to walk/cycle/drive to the nearest 7-11 store, put down a one time deposit, rent a couple of games (or try 'em out on the spot for free) and then rinse, repeat.

If that sounds like a long shot, get inspired by Mr Kolo Soro of the Ivory Coast. You can read about his entreprenual exploits here. Guy really has a keen business sense and has carved a niche for himself on access to things that we usually take for granted over here in Malaysia (telephone usage, games, etc)

I'll be reviewing more homebrew games this month, assuming that I have the time to load them up on my R4. Work has caught up with me in a big way and the Nintendo DS is hardly a sight in the office these days. Nevertheless I'm looking forward to playing "A Touch of War" and "Super Mario War". War is this month's theme boys and girls.

Altogether now: "I promise I won't whine about delivery dates after choosing the "free shipping" option on Play-Asia". That goes to you, you and you.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Warcraft : Tower Defense, Nintendo DS Homebrew-ed Adaptation

For more video game reviews, head over to the brand new

I never really have written a review of
Tower Defense, a homebrew adaptation of the popular Warcraft III mod, for the Nintendo DS, despite it being one of my favourite homebrew games. I intend to make up for that and so here goes.

For those who are not familiar with the Warcraft III version of Tower Defense, it's basically involves stopping waves of creatures (creeps) moving from Point A to Point B of an obstacle/maze-like map. Stopping creeps involves building and upgrading towers that will slow them down, deal damage and act as buffs for other towers.

The Nintendo DS version of Tower Defense is somewhat similar to the PC counterpart whereby it has this Warcraft 3 theme going on. Players start by selecting a map and the actual game begins with all the action taking place on the bottom screen. The top screen is used to show build options, wave stats, the amount of gold earned, and not forgetting tower stats.

In order to access the build options, players will need to "switch screens" by pressing either trigger button. This will cause the top screen to swap with the bottom screen and players will be able to access the build options (and everything else) using the stylus.

Gold is awarded by killing creeps and is required for building and upgrading towers. Since players can only place a certain number of towers, positioning, upgrading and selling of towers is a necessary form of micro-management, a term Warcraft III was rather well known for.

Tower Defense for the Nintendo DS manages to port over the strategic depth and fun gameplay of its more illustrious PC counterpart and while the PC version emphasizes on multiplayer teamwork, the DS version is pretty much a single player game for now. Graphics wise, it's pretty, in a DS way and you gotta love the sound effects :)

You can get this excellent homebrew game at the developer's website over at If you have a slightly older version of the game and you cannot get it to run on your R4, it probably needs patching; please refer to my patching guide over here.

Mail Call

The first of my orders from Play-Asia made during their Crazy Week period (which just ended) arrived yesterday. Due to Play-Asia's free shipping to my area being rather consistent, I've opted to help out some friends on getting their stuff.

This first package is on behalf of a friend and it contains the full set of Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Phone Strap Gashapon. These are pretty unique as you have to pull the strap to see what's inside. Notice the ? marks and brick designs on some of the boxes? They come as stickers and you'll have to stick them onto the boxes.

Interestingly, these gashapon are still available on Play-Asia. If you want your very own set of Phone Strap gashapon, order them over here.

On a side note, I don't get it why people moan or contemplate so much about delivery dates after choosing the free shipping option on PA. Undestandably the parcel might take a longer time to reach the recipient, so just sit back after making your order, relax and then get on with your life.

You are not doing yourself a favour singing "Mr Postman...wait and see, if there's a letter, a letter for me....Mr Postmannnnn..". If you are that insecure, do spend more money on the Fedex option for your next order.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stylus, Styli, Styluses, Syloid

Just in case you are wondering about the title, those words are in reference to that pen-like thing you use to interact with devices such as touch screens, PDAs, and since this is a video games blog, the Nintendo DS. Stylus - singular, Styli, Styluses, Syloid - plural.

According to Wikipedia, a stylus is a "writting utensil" (on the subject of utensils, Jon has an interesting article on a particular collection). First made of reed and used to write cuneiform on clay tablets by ancient Egyptians, styli (this time probably made of metal) were then used to write on wax tablets by the Europeans up till the 19th century. (Reference: Wikipedia)

As mentioned earlier, the modern role of styli is in facilitating the interaction between a human user and touch screen devices. Styli can also be found as pick-ups on vinyl record players; speaking of which, does anyone have any idea how much a vinyl record turntable costs these days? I've got a box full of vinyls but no turntable (and I'm abit partial to anything from Technics).

Back to styli,stylus, syloid, however you want to call it, I've managed to lose one Nintendo DS stylus since purchasing the console mid-last year. But thanks to the Play-Asia's Crazy week, I'm waiting for the arrival of a pair of Nintendo DS styli (USD 3.19 for the pair and one of 'em is made of copper!) and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Playing to the Crowd

I've added a new section on Homebrew stuff on my blog's navigation pane (just below the collectibles section), so it wouldn't be a pain (pun not intended) to look for homebrew articles on this blog. At the moment, this humble section contains only 3 articles:

On to other things; Play-Asia's Crazy Week ends this Thursday. Since one of the more exasperating questions that I have encountered from other Nintendo DS users is "How do I get connected to Nintendo
's WFC without a WiFi router/Access Point?", my suggestion would be to get any of the USB WiFi Adaptors on sale (20% off the normal price) at Play-Asia now!

The list includes a bunch of products from Datel, but all of them should work with a Nintendo DS; anything else would probably be a reason for raising the price. Personally, I'm using a Mayflash WiFi Link, and there are no problems so far.
  • Datel Wifi Max (Nintendo DS, DSL, Wii) (here)
  • Datel Wifi Max (Nintendo DS) (here)
  • Datel Wifi Max (Nintendo DS, DSL, Wii, PS3, PSP) (here)
  • Mayflash Wifi Link (Nintendo DS, DSL, PSP) (here)
  • Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector (here)

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fool All Around The Net

April Fool's Day came and went and Google did a rather good (and disgusting) prank with Google TiSP. Free Internet, via the sewer makes for a no brainer but suprisingly quite a number of my friends (lets just call them gullible persons) fell for it.

One of the conversations that I had with one of the gullible persons who I forwarded the link to, went like this:

Gullible Person (GP): It's disgusting, how am I gonna use my toilet.
Me (M): Do you actually believe this?
GP:'s Google! It's new technology from Google! (She must be drinking from the Google Kool-Aid: Do no evil)
Me: ... (Yup...just flush it down baby)

So what other sites indulged in some April tom-foolery? For starters GoNintendo went over to the M side of things and became GoMicrosoft instead. That's actually a pretty nice header featuring Master Chief and note the Windows and Xbox logos. fooled visitors with a front page fool (sorry, full) of fake news. Some of the articles had titles such as "Dalai Lama exiled to Second Life" and "Cool off your PC with a bath (it's safe)",

Visitors clicking on the links on the front page will be greeted with a Gotcha! page.

So did any of your favourite websites indulge in some April Fool's Day festivities?